Artist Spotlight: An Interview with Derek Noble
Written by Wes Chmielowski
Our Marketplace rep sat down with one of our most popular artists, Derek Noble, for an interview on what inspires his art and tattooing.
Q: Outside of Tattooing are you or have you ever been in any other subcultures?
A: I don't know, maybe sports and fitness? I played sports since i was a little kid, played college football, then got into some boxing training for a while. I've always been into working out and shit like that.
Q: What's your best travel story?
A: Well, my shittiest travel story was when I flew out to Australia to tattoo for a couple weeks and got stopped at customs when I got into Austraila. They stopped and searched me, thought I was smuggling drugs, then found all my tatt gear. They figured out I was going to be working there from some facebook post that someone else had posted. They questioned me for about 5 hours and had a police escort put me back on the plane I flew in on. It was a full 48 hours of just flying and being in airports for absolutely nothing, except all the money for flights, missed appointments and I was banned from Australia for 3 years.
Q: Do you listen to music when you're creating art? If so what are some of your go to's lately?
A: Yeah, mostly doom/stoner metal, but kinda all over the place, lots of 90's hip hop and rock. I'v been reliving my 90's teen years lately.
Q: Where do you pull inspiration from in on these demonic paintings? What are your spiritual beliefs if any?
A: Inspiration, late medieval religious paintings, Durer is a big inspiration. I have absolutely no spiritual beliefs. We're here, then we're gone, thats all I know.
Q: Was there a defining moment/event in your life that made you want to become an artist? If so what was it?
A: No, always messed with art when I was a kid, always wanted to do it in some way for a career. I got into tattooing and just decided to stick with it.
Q: Take me through your timeline as far as art goes. Developing your style and what shaped you into the artist you are today.
A: Timeline? I don't know, i started tattooing in 02, was doing walk-ins and whatever came in. I was always into that and I was doing some painting on the side. A few years into tattooing, people started wanted me to tatt the stuff I was painting. That's when I started doing some custom stuff. I just kinda went from there. I've never consciously developed a style, just trying to get better and kinda getting sick of doing the same stuff. My style has drastically changed from what I was doing when I first made a name for myself. I was doing all those girl heads. Now I wanna blow my brains out if i ever have to do one of those again. You know, that kinda shit moves you forward and evolves your style.
Q: What is the most challenging thing about being an artist for you?
A: Time. Tattooing full days, drawing for hours on the days I'm not tattooing for tattoos that I have to do later is draining. As I've gotten older, time is the most valuable thing to me, and at the clip I'm going with tattooing I don't have much of it. It burns you out and honestly I'm losing any desire to paint anymore.
Q: What advice would you give to someone pursuing a career doing in creating art full time?
A: I don’t know man? Good luck?
Q: What do you love most about living in Washington?
A: I've lived here my whole life. Love the weather. Still hang out with some of my best buddies that I've known since grade school. it's my home.
Q: Outside of art, what other hobbies are you interested in?
A: Nothing really. No time for it.
Q: Who are some of your favorite tattoo artists that you've been tattooed by personally?
A: They're all great. No favorites.